Christmas just got a whole lot brighter for 125 kids in the Seminole Heights area, all thanks to Carolynn Smith.
Smith just offered to pay for the Wilbert Davis Boys and Girls Club Holiday Party after noticing no one had sponsored it yet. The club is near the Seminole Heights area and has seen a drop in activity since the recent shootings.
It was a costly but rewarding move that Smith says all started after she posted an emotional Facebook video asking people for help to make it all happen.
"These kids don't get to experience running out to a Christmas tree and having gifts like other kids do. So even though 125 kids sounds like a lot of kids to adopt or sponsor, it really is nothing compared to all the kids in our community,” Smith said.
Within a few days, Smith had already topped her Go Fund Me goal of $3,500. But she still needs more funding to help reward volunteers and cover decoration and food costs for all 125 kids. She also is still looking for about 20 more volunteers to help the day of the event. It’s set for Friday, December 15, from 4 – 6 pm at the Wilbert Davis Boys and Girls Club in Tampa.
“People don’t think a holiday party is a big deal for kids but they don’t realize the small gifts they get from this event are the only gifts some kids get all year,” Smith said.
Smith has mentored kids at that Boys and Girls Club for the past 5 years. She hopes her actions will inspire others to follow suit.
“You can’t make a difference in the world unless you start in your own community. You can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone,” Smith said.
If you’d like to donate to the holiday party, here’s a link to the Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/tampa-bay-gives-back